Selling my J/24 (December 2001)
After all the work getting her fixed up, selling my J/24 was a bittersweet victory.

Thursday, November 29, 2001: Serious Interest

Things moved fairly quickly with the sale of my J/24 following our Thanksgiving outing. I had spoken with a fellow named Brian back before Thanksgiving, and he sent me an email first thing today asking to see the boat this weekend. I set to work right away getting her put back together. I sanded the three boards from the V-berth and treated them with teak cleaner and Clorox. The mildew left them all badly blackened, so I may have to sand them some more tomorrow before I can put a coat of Sikkens on them. I need to finish the toerails tomorrow too. I was running low on Sikkens, so Theresa and I bought another can at West Marine. (Gads, that stuff is expensive!)

Friday, November 30, 2001: Teak Work

Another guy is interested in seeing the J/24 on Sunday as well. It looks like this weekend will be double jeopardy. I sanded the boards again and applied a final coat of Sikkens to them. When I was done, I went over to the boat and sanded the toerails lightly, then applied another coat of Sikkens to them. They still need one more coat, but the varnish seems to be drying rapidly in the direct sunlight.

Saturday, December 1, 2001: Finishing the Toerails

I applied a final coat of Sikkens to the toerails first thing in the morning, emptying the first can of Sikkens and opening the second. Soon after I got the second (very full) can open, though, I stumbled and spilled a bunch of varnish down the front of my shirt onto the deck. What a mess! I carefully stepped away from the splattered areas, then set the can down on a cloth and retrieved some paper towels to wipe up the big pools. Once I had the problem under control, I cleaned the deck (and my shirt and shoes) with mineral spirits. No harm done in the end, but what a mess!

After lunch, I returned to the boat to remove the masking tape, but this proved a LOT harder than I had anticipated, despite the fact that I had used the weatherproof blue masking tape. Apparently, I just let it sit in the sun too long. It took me a long time and quite a bit of patience to peel it all off. The sun was setting and the mosquitos were out in force by the time I got finished.

Sunday, December 2, 2001: Show Time

I got up early to return the last of the boards to the boat, reinstall the cushions, and scrub off the deck. It was a whirlwind job, but I finished it all in time to go home and shower before showing the boat at 11:00am. Brian and his wife seemed to like the boat a lot, but they didn't make any commitments. On the positive side, they were interested enough to go back with me to the house to examine the sails and the outboard. Later that afternoon, I showed the boat a second time, but this guy and his wife had only just begun searching for a boat, so they didn't seem as eager to buy.

Week of December 2, 2001: Keel Repair

Both people who looked at the boat this past weekend took note of a minor nick in the trailing edge of the keel. This damage was caused by the forklift operator at Jabin's back before I even bought the boat, but I never bothered to have it repaired. Over the years, water had seeped into the fiberglass, causing some minor delamination on the keel. I called Mark Koszarek (the fellow who did the work on our Beneteau) and asked him if he'd take a look at the keel. He gave me an estimate, and I gave him the go-ahead to do the work.

Week of December 9, 2001: Initial Offer

Mark started work on the keel this week. He didn't seem to think that it would take long. Sometime this week, Brian contacted me via phone and made an offer on the J/24, but it was substantially below my asking price. I like Brian, and I'd like to see Mischief in good hands, but I can't part with her for such little money.

Week of December 16, 2001: Second Showing

Brian contacted me again to negotiate further and to arrange a second visit to the boat. I told Brian that Theresa and I were leaving for Christmas vacation on Saturday, but he pushed for a meeting that morning. I think he really wants to buy the boat, so I hope we can reach an agreement on the price. Just in case, I contacted the state tax office to find out what kind of paperwork I would need in order to sell the vessel. Mark finished wet-sanding the keel on Friday, and I met him to review the work and give him a check.

Saturday, December 22, 2001: SOLD!

I met with Brian and his wife again at the J/24, and they took another look through the boat. Brian and I discussed price again, and we finally reached a deal! We went back to the house to do the paperwork, and Brian gave me a cashier's check as downpayment (proving that he really had came ready to buy). We packed up the sails, lifejackets, and outboard, then transferred the towing rig from my Explorer to his. (Did I mention that Brian drives the same type Explorer that I do?) We returned to the boat and rigged her up to Brian's truck. I bid Mischief farewell, and Brian towed her off toward Davis Island. I was sad to see her go, but it's all for the best. (Besides, Brian said he'll probably need crew for the upcoming races, so I'll probably get to sail on her again.) Theresa and I drove to the airport that afternoon and flew out for Christmas in St. Louis.


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